Bill C-10, Omnibus Crime Bill: Natives Unfairly Punished, Says National Chief Shawn Atleo
National Chief Shawn Atleo said that Bill C-10, dubbed the ‘Safe Streets and Communities Act,’ will unfairly punish native communities
First Posted: 02/20/2012 5:36 pm Updated: 02/20/2012 7:45 pm
OTTAWA - The Assembly of First Nations accused the government of undercutting its own plans to improve conditions on reserves with the Conservatives' tough new crime bill.
National chief Shawn Atleo said that Bill C-10, dubbed the ‘Safe Streets and Communities Act,’ will have the opposite effect on aboriginal communities.
Atleo told the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee the bill will make it even harder to break the cycle of crime that many aboriginal youth find themselves in. That will make it harder to end the poverty and lack of education on reserves the Conservatives have promised to address, he said.
“The direction that this is heading in does not support the notion of First Nations creating safe and secure communities,” said Atleo, appearing by video link from his home in British Columbia. “Because the young people we are talking about right now, they are more likely to end up in jail than end up in school.”
The bill would impose tougher sentences for a wide range of convictions including youth repeat offenders, and will impose mandatory minimum sentences for offences such as sexual assault and drug trafficking.
Statistics Canada has reported that most violent crime is declining but the Conservatives tough-on-crime approach has proven popular with voters who overwhelmingly support harsher sentences for criminals according to polls.....
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/ ... ibus-crime_n_1289536.html